Thursday, September 10, 2009

Joy Review - Initial Thoughts

I know i'm tardy on my late summer reviews, but I'm still digesting. For now, just keep listening to RR and Gorge on loop.

In the meantime, I've begun listening to JOY and though I'm only about halfway in, i think there are a few things worth mentioning.

"I've got memories..."

I can vividly remember waiting for the release dates of Billy Breathes, Story of the Ghost, and Farmhouse. As we all know, studio albums are not this bands forte, but each album gives us a peek into where the band's mind is at during the recording sessions.

The "growing up" of Billy Breathes had no relation to the sheer funk of Ghost and Farmhouse was pretty much a happy medium of trancey soundscapes and adult rockers and ballads.

I skipped Round Room and Undermind. I have never listened to either as part of my 02-04 (except Nassau and IT) didn't happen mantra. Some of the songs i enjoy live, but these albums have always seemed haphazard and lacking to me.

"This time's gonna be different..."

While i firmly believe Backwards Down the Number Line is the 3.0 anthem, Kill Devil Falls has surely become a quick fan fav with its infectious lyrics, driving rhythms and optimistic viewpoint. In short, its a rager with monster potential.

The central line of this song appears to me as an open ended question. Most certainly THIS time, meaning 3.0, has been different. Much better than the aborted 2.0.

More than ever, this band is speaking to us in the album, directly to the fans and to themselves. Nostalgia is high with a tip of the hat to the past and a giant leap towards the future.

This album is by no means great, and i can tell you that without listening to the whole thing. But after a summer of hearing these songs evolve, its cool to hear what they sounded like before they hit the stage. Like any album, many of these songs will be put on the back bench, while some with be thrust into the permanent rotation. Some will be reworked and have second lives and others will be barely heard from again.

Full song by song analysis coming...likely late as always.

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